All Saints' Well

Dublin Core


All Saints' Well

Description of Well Item Type Metadata

1 Name of well and saint

All Saints' Well

2 Townland, County, GPS

Lower Killeen, near Blarney, County Cork

3 Physical description of well and its surroundings

Amanda Clarke describes the site: A little gate plus metal arch lead into the site, which was enclosed by whitewashed stones and a tall circlet of trees. The well itself was in a stone built wellhouse, a beehive shape, with a beautifully corbelled interior roof; the curved exterior rather heavily cemented. A rectangular opening led down to the well inside. A stone plaque inscribed with three deep crosses bore a crucifixion scene and the faint but still discernible lettering All Saints Well AD 1761. There was also quite a lot of graffiti making it difficult to interpret what else might be there. A more recent plaque above this also gave the date and the inscription Penal Days, plus the depiction of a golden chalice.

Inside: A central shelf held a multitude of offerings and statues, each jostling with the other: some beautiful statues of the BVM, the Sacred Heart, St Patrick, angels, flowers, candles. On the right a little niche contained a phial of holy water, a blue crucifix hanging next to it; on the left a stained glass image of Pope John Paul II hung next to a metal ladle; above this a memorial stone, hard to read. The well itself lay in the centre of the floor, flat with the ground, a roughly hewn stone-lined circle, the water plentiful but not particularly clear. (Amanda Clarke's blog "Holy Wells of Cork and Kerry")

4 Cure

The water is especially helpful against arthritis.

5 Pattern day

Mass is still occasionally held here on All saints’ Day, 1st November. Mass there was conducted in the 2nd decade of the 21st c. by John Buckley, Bishop of Cork and Ross.

6 Offerings

Candles are lit inside the wellhouse.

8 Stories

An elderly man called Frank used to walk in from the city, once or twice a week with his dog, to tend to the well and the surrounding area. He was responsible for the landscaping, and for most of the statuary. He was literally devoted to the site...(Amanda Clarke's blog "Holy Wells of Cork and Kerry")

There is a holy well situated between Upper and Lower Killeens. One day as a priest was going across the fields from Cork to Whitechurch to say Mass a scout came to meet him telling him that the soldiers were at Whitechurch waiting to arrest him. Then the priest decided to say Mass on the spot where he met the man who had told him about the soldiers. But the man said there is no water here so you can’t say Mass. Suddenly a well sprung up and it got its name All Saints Well . Visits are of course most common on All saints’ Day November 1st. (Schools' Folklore Collection)

10 More

Photo credit: Amanda Clarke